Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007
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For the first time in nine years, the “out of season” team won the Muhlenberg-Moravian women’s tennis matchup. Moravian, which plays its competitive season in the fall, traveled to Allentown and battled hard for the win, 5-4, in a match that was decided in a third-set tiebreaker.

This was the fourth straight loss to a ranked opponent for the Mules. The Greyhounds won the Commonwealth Conference title in the fall and will compete in the NCAA Division III Championships in May.

Playing in the final home match of her career, senior Pam Kimmelman went unbeaten on the day and didn’t give up a single game. She and No. 1 doubles partner, sophomore Jenn Powell, swept their opponents, and then Kimmelman went on to shut out her No. 2 singles foe.

Powell also went undefeated on the day, as she won her No. 1 singles match in straight sets.

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Muhlenberg had the same result against Gwynedd-Mercy in the last week of the season as it had the first week of the season: a loss. The Griffins swept a doubleheader when the two teams met in Florida in early March.

In spite of the 16-6 setback, two Mule seniors stood out. Pete Oris went 5-for-5, including his 12th career home run, a two-run blast in the sixth. The two RBI gave him 108 for his career, just two shy of the school record. Ryan Sassaman singled in the fifth for his 150th career hit, becoming just the third Muhlenberg player to reach that level.

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Seniors Hilary Marinchak and Tina Roth couldn’t have asked for a better ending to their home careers with the Muhlenberg softball team.

Roth’s infield single drove in Marinchak with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Mules a 3-2 win against Ursinus in their final game at Cedarcreek Field. Muhlenberg, which closes out its season at Haverford on Saturday, dropped a 1-0 decision to the Bears in the first game of the doubleheader.

The victory in the nightcap snapped a seven-game losing skid for the Mules (9-21, 6-8), and it came against an Ursinus (25-7, 12-2) team that is in first place in the Centennial Conference and
Lara Kestenbaum
Sophomore Lara Kestenbaum took the loss despite pitching a brilliant game in the opener. She allowed only three hits and fanned six.
ranked eighth in the East Region.

“I was kind of in denial that this was my last game here,” said Marinchak, “then it hit me that last at-bat. I was thinking, ‘We have to get this. It’s up to me to start it.’”

Start it she did, singling up the middle to lead off the eighth. Senior Nicole Washburn, the winning pitcher, sacrificed Marinchak to second, and she went to third on a hit by sophomore Samantha Crist.

With the Bear infield drawn in, Roth grounded a ball between third and short. The third baseman got a glove on the ball but could not control it, and Marinchak raced home to give Muhlenberg the win.

Washburn, also playing at home for the last time, struck out seven in earning the win. She allowed eight hits, but five of them came in the third inning, when Ursinus scored two runs. The Bears had only one hit in the final 5 1/3 innings.

The Mules scored their first run on a dropped fly ball in the first, then tied the score in the third when Marinchak stole third and continued home on a throwing error by the catcher.

The first game was a tight pitchers duel, with the lone run scoring on a two-out bloop single in the top of the seventh. Muhlenberg got the potential tying run to third in the bottom of the inning after junior Jennifer Rosenthal led off with her third single, but could not get it home.

The dramatic ending was saved for the second game, and it came courtesy of a player who considered transferring to nursing school during her sophomore year but stayed at Muhlenberg so she could continue to play softball with her teammates.

“It’s all been worthwhile,” said Marinchak, who leads the Mules with a .299 batting average, 20 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. “Even though we’re not having a winning season, there’s so much good that came of it in the relationships I’ve made.”

Click here for line scores.

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Last updated April 24, 2007